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Ed Endicott

Wanna Buy Some Prints?

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I'm beginning to think the best way to survive in this business is to sell prints rather than stock.  The catch is, it appears you must be dead before they are worth anything.  eBay is advertising a "live" auction in conjunction with Sotheby's selling prints - including Adams, Bresson, and Frank...

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/clt/collectibles-live-events/photographs-562422/?_trksid=p2050601.m1256&_trkparms=%26clkid%3D4873989163013695292

 

 

(p.s. I wouldn't think eBay is a direct competitor so I'm posting the link)

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Being dead is a bonus I think when selling prints but you need to have been a half decent photographer first.

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Being dead is a bonus I think when selling prints but you need to have been a half decent photographer first.

 

With a major reputation when you were alive!

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Being dead is a bonus I think when selling prints but you need to have been a half decent photographer first.

 

Interesting comment....is it about the photographer or about the agent/representation behind the photographer?

 

http://petapixel.com/2015/03/21/the-10-ikea-piece-an-interesting-social-experiment-on-the-value-of-art/

 

There is much to be said about the old adage of "f/8 and be there"

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A certain tog where I'm from just needs to turn up and he's sold the shots already no matter what genre he decides to shoot that day. Also works for a biG agency too. 

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I'm beginning to think the best way to survive in this business is to sell prints rather than stock.  The catch is, it appears you must be dead before they are worth anything.  eBay is advertising a "live" auction in conjunction with Sotheby's selling prints - including Adams, Bresson, and Frank...

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/clt/collectibles-live-events/photographs-562422/?_trksid=p2050601.m1256&_trkparms=%26clkid%3D4873989163013695292

 

 

(p.s. I wouldn't think eBay is a direct competitor so I'm posting the link)

I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

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I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

We're not all in your fortunate situation.  I wonder how useful it is to hear over and over again how well someone is doing, how expensive their prints are and how little they need Alamy. I for one do.

Edited by spacecadet
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I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

We're not all in your fortunate situation.  I wonder how useful it is to hear over and over again how well someone is doing, how expensive their prints are and how little they need Alamy. I for one do.

 

 

:blink: Personally.... I thought he was just giving an alternative point of view to the one that you have to be dead to make money from selling prints!

 

Hearing someones point of view, even if it is different to your own, doesn't make it any less valid. While it may not be useful to you it might be to others! Anyway, hearing about success stories should inspire us to get out there and try new things and stretch us further. I for one am more than happy to hear of other peoples experiences, whether they are good or bad.... it's all useful information!

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

We're not all in your fortunate situation.  I wonder how useful it is to hear over and over again how well someone is doing, how expensive their prints are and how little they need Alamy. I for one do.

 

 

:blink: Personally.... I thought he was just giving an alternative point of view to the one that you have to be dead to make money from selling prints!

 

Hearing someones point of view, even if it is different to your own, doesn't make it any less valid. While it may not be useful to you it might be to others! Anyway, hearing about success stories should inspire us to get out there and try new things and stretch us further. I for one am more than happy to hear of other peoples experiences, whether they are good or bad.... it's all useful information!

 

 

I'm going to get out there and open a brothel. :)

 

Allan

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I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

We're not all in your fortunate situation.  I wonder how useful it is to hear over and over again how well someone is doing, how expensive their prints are and how little they need Alamy. I for one do.

 

 

:blink: Personally.... I thought he was just giving an alternative point of view to the one that you have to be dead to make money from selling prints!

 

Hearing someones point of view, even if it is different to your own, doesn't make it any less valid. While it may not be useful to you it might be to others! Anyway, hearing about success stories should inspire us to get out there and try new things and stretch us further. I for one am more than happy to hear of other peoples experiences, whether they are good or bad.... it's all useful information!

 

 

I'm going to get out there and open a brothel. :)

 

Allan

 

 

Haha.... the Missus may object if I took my career in that direction  :P

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I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

We're not all in your fortunate situation.  I wonder how useful it is to hear over and over again how well someone is doing, how expensive their prints are and how little they need Alamy. I for one do.

 

I enjoyed reading Pete's post. I think it is useful to hear the success stories especially when they contain detail of how it was done. I'd rather read one of these than a 'low licence' post.

 

Michael

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I too enjoyed reading it the first time.

The tenth time, not so much.

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I'm beginning to think the best way to survive in this business is to sell prints rather than stock.  The catch is, it appears you must be dead before they are worth anything.  eBay is advertising a "live" auction in conjunction with Sotheby's selling prints - including Adams, Bresson, and Frank...

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/clt/collectibles-live-events/photographs-562422/?_trksid=p2050601.m1256&_trkparms=%26clkid%3D4873989163013695292

 

 

(p.s. I wouldn't think eBay is a direct competitor so I'm posting the link)

I'm very much alive and have been selling prints at good prices through a number of galleries and dealers for over 40 years. Print sales account for about 90% of my (very comfortable) income with other photo related incidentals making up the rest. I also receive research grants to make new work etc. Certainly if you are dead, you can't make any more prints and there are collectors who insist on a 'vintage' print, made by the photographer and these can command silly prices.  I am kept busy in my darkroom by collectors making selenium toned silver gelatin B&W prints. (Serious collectors don't want an inkjet print, even if you give it a false, fancy made up name like 'giclee'). My large, type 'C' colour prints are made for me by the lab that has been printing my colour work for over 30 years under my supervision. I set aside a few days a month and have a darkroom session to satisfy orders or re-print others. My archive of negatives certainly keeps me in the manner to which I am accustomed and also allows me to keep on making new work. That's the work and projects I want to do, not what a client or stock library might dictate. So, job satisfaction and a good income. It can be done. I suspect that one of my large colour prints probably sells for more than many make from Alamy here in a year. After an exhibition a few years ago I made enough to buy a cottage in Snowdonia outright. I use it as a base for when I choose to work further north. I'm lucky of course because I have an extensive archive of past work that people still want and I'm making new work all the time. 

 

 

I don’t think it is quite true that if you work in the art market you can do what you like.  For example if a photographer producing and selling selenium toned darkroom prints began to think that this is not the best way to capture contemporary reality, and wanted to do something radically different it is unlikely that the dealers already buying are going to have big smiles on their faces.  I have known many exhibiting artists, and also know of many who churn out the same old stuff year after year to please the collectors, some of whom will be buying for their investment portfolios.  On the other hand there are many working in macro stock who are doing pretty well what they want to.  I doubt if anyone tells Tim Flach what to do.  Or George Steinmetz.  Or VII who license their work through Corbis.  And many others.  There is still a real market out there for original photography, rather than machine-tooled stock.

 

However, with that little caveat out of the way, your post does contain some essential wisdom.  It is that it is better, if you can, to start doing what you believe in, find out what you can do best, and then begin to look for the best markets for your kind of work, whether that is through selling prints, licenses, assignment work or a mixture. 

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